Former F1 world champion Damon Hill has presented a damning theory behind Max Verstappen’s controversial title win. FIA race director Michael Masi was ousted for his role in the Abu Dhabi drama which saw Lewis Hamiltonpipped in the season’s dying embers.
With Sunday’s curtain-raiser just days away, Hamilton and Verstappen already have their eyes on the prize with the final pre-season test now in the rearview mirror.
Their raw talent and mental fortitude will be put to the test again after using the three-month off-season to rest and recuperate.
Hamilton appeared to be cruising towards victory and the Drivers’ Championship in December until Masi effectively wiped out his lead behind a late safety car.
The Dutchman then passed his bitter rival in an epic final-lap shootout to leave the Silver Arrows stunned as he took the chequered flag and his maiden title.
Masi’s hugely controversial decision was eventually subjected to an FIA investigation, which ultimately saw him sacked.
Verstappen’s name will remain in the history books after Mercedes withdrew their intention to appeal the race result, and Hill, who boasts a distinguished 22-win F1 career, has put forward a theory that casts a shadow over his 2021 triumph.
“We could just broadcast random entertainment, but we don’t want to be doing that,” the Sky Sports F1 expert told
“We don’t want the sport to only pander to adrenaline, there has to be some integrity and we could have done better to serve those people.
“The entertainment value was given precedent over what would be right and fair [in 2021], and it was happening consistently throughout the year.
“I don’t blame one person. If my theory is correct, everyone wanted to spice the show up as much as they could.